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Samyutta Nikaya
Anamatagga Saṁyutta

15.3 Assu Sutta
Tears

We have shed many tears in this long saṁsara

This is how I heard. At one time, the Blessed One was living in the city of Sāvatthi, in Jeta’s park, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. The Blessed One addressed the monks, saying, “O monks!”

“Bhante!” those monks replied.

The Blessed One said, “Monks, this cycle of rebirth is endless. The beginning of this extremely long journey cannot be discovered. These beings, hindered by lack of knowledge of the true nature of life and bound by craving, roam and wander on in this endless journey. What do you think, monks, which is more: the stream of tears you have shed as you roamed and wandered on in this journey, crying and weeping because of being united with unfriendly people and unpleasant things, and separated from loved ones and loved belongings—this or the water in the four great oceans?”

“As we understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, Bhante, the stream of tears we have shed as we roamed and wandered on in this journey, crying and weeping because of being united with unfriendly people and unpleasant things, and separated from loved ones and loved belongings—this alone is more than the water in the four great oceans.”

“Good, good, monks! It is good that you understand the Dhamma taught by me in such a way. The stream of tears you have shed as you roamed and wandered on in this journey, crying and weeping because of being united with unfriendly people and unpleasant things, and separated from loved ones and loved belongings—this alone is more than the water in the four great oceans. For a long time, monks, you have experienced suffering of the death of your mother; as you have experienced this, crying and weeping because of being united with unfriendly people and unpleasant things, and separated from loved ones and loved belongings; the stream of tears that you have shed is more than the water in the four great oceans.

“For a long time, monks, you have experienced suffering of the death of your father…the death of your brother…the death of your sister…the death of your son…the death of your daughter…the loss of your relatives…the loss of your wealth…the pain of sickness; as you have experienced this, crying and weeping because of being united with unfriendly people and unpleasant things, and separated from loved ones and loved belongings; the stream of tears that you have shed is more than the water in the four great oceans.

“What is the reason for that? It is because, monks, this cycle of rebirth is endless. The beginning of this extremely long journey cannot be discovered. These beings, hindered by lack of knowledge of the true nature of life and bound by craving, roam and wander on in this endless journey.”

“For such a long time, monks, you have experienced various types of suffering, tragedies, and disasters. You have filled the cemetery with your dead bodies. Therefore, monks, the time has come for you to understand the meaningless nature of all conditioned things. The time has come for you to become detached from them. And the time has come for you to be liberated from them.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 15.3 Assu Sutta: Tears

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